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Algorithms to enhance forest inventories

For his PhD thesis, Matthew Parkan, from Laboratory of Geographic Information Systems (LASIG), developed a number of algorithms capable of automatically determining certain inventory parameters – such as trunk location, estimated diameter and species – on the basis of 3D point clouds and hyperspectral imagery. These algorithms can be used, for example, to create a detailed map of an area in preparation for tree marking (prior to cutting), to closely monitor the development of individual trees and to identify habitats more suited to certain animal species. His work aimed to develop methods and tools that can field-based inventories rather than replace them.